You might turn your nose up at it, but the original “Bridget Jones’ Diary” is one of the last great mainstream rom-coms: sharp, legitimately funny, swooningly romantic and with a great comic turn from Renee Zellwegger (who was rightfully Oscar-nominated) at its heart. The film was also a giant hit, as, to a lesser extent, was the awful sequel “Bridget Jones: The Edge Of Reason,” so it’s not surprising that Universal and Working Title have tried more than once to make a third film.
Last we heard, in 2011, the third film, “Bridget Jones’ Baby,” which was to have reunited Zellwegger, Hugh Grant and the now A-list Colin Firth, was briefly being considered by “Bridesmaids” helmer Paul Feig before “The Full Monty”’s Peter Cattaneo landed the gig. The film never came to pass, however, but according to Deadline it’s gotten a new lease of life, with production set to get underway in just a few short weeks.
The title’s been retained, and Zellwegger and Firth are both back on board, though Grant’s nowhere to be found. Cattaneo’s out, but in his place is the director of the original film (and the basis for a character in the movie) Sharon Maguire, while novelist Helen Fielding and “One Day” writer David Nicholls penned the script.
And there’s a potential new rival on the way, as the trade also reveal that McDreamy himself, Patrick Dempsey, has joined the cast in an unknown role. Belated sequels don’t always work, but it’ll be good to see Zellwegger back in her trademark role (she hasn’t starred in a theatrical movie since “Case 39” in 2010, and even that had been delayed for three years), and Maguire’s presence gives us faith that this could return us to the joys of the original rather than the pain of the second film.